Nine-coil large intestine and millet porridge being what they are, Shandong cooking may be a bit less accessible to the average Angeleno than Chongqing fried chicken or beef noodle soup. Chinese gourmets consider Shandong to be one of the four essential cuisines, but the specialty dish at 101 Noodle Express, Dezhou chicken — a wrinkly, slow-cooked fryer with the skin color of John Boehner — may not be the cuisine's best ambassador. But the beef roll — oh yes, the beef roll — a steroidal composition straight out of Shandong of fried Chinese pancakes, cilantro and great fistfuls of thinly sliced meat with sweet bean sauce and formed into huge Chinese burritos. A proper beef roll may be big enough to feed a family of four but is also oddly delicate; it may taste of crisped pastry and clean oil but also projects the muscular minerality of the braised meat.
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